One Hundred acres of forested land in Warren County’s Caldwell Creek watershed will be forever protected by the Foundation for Sustainable Forests thanks to a gift from Margaret Lay-Dopyera.
Ms. Lay-Dopyera’s donation significantly furthers the Foundation’s land protection efforts in the watershed.
“My late husband, John Dopyera, and I, believed that the mission of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests was clearly worthy of our support. During the years we lived near Grand Valley in Eldred Township, Warren County, we gifted housing and hospitality at our Woodland Lodge for the excellent presenters who came to the area for the educational events of the Foundation. As we learned more and more about the Foundation, we could see the importance of what is being done. The gift of our rural land fits the values John and I shared,” Margaret Lay-Dopyera said.
Under Foundation for Sustainable Forests ownership, the land will never be developed and its conservation values will be protected in perpetuity. The land will remain on the tax rolls and managed as a working forest with the focus on ecosystem health and forest diversity.
“For me personally, this has particular significance because of my family history,” Margaret said. “My great grandfather, Orange Robinson, an early settler of the area, gave this land to my grandmother Cassie and her husband, Archie Smith, soon after they married in 1899. To have this acreage become protected forest under the auspices of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests is a source of great happiness for me.”
Troy Firth, president of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, said the gift is a tremendous legacy that will benefit all future generations.
“We are most thankful and appreciative,” he said. “This property has significant conservation value in a watershed of great importance ecologically. In addition, Margaret’s gift has the potential to be used as a match for a state grant to protect other land in the Caldwell Creek Corridor.”
The Foundation has long identified the Caldwell Creek watershed as priority for its land protection efforts. With the addition of the Lay-Dopyera tract, the Foundation now oversees the conservation of more than 880 acres in the watershed, including some 780 acres in the main Caldwell Creek corridor. Caldwell Creek is a valuable cold-water fishery and the Warren County Greenways and Open Space Plan lists the watershed as a priority for land and water protection efforts as a natural area corridor.